The Label Makers conjurs the spirit of the Mary Rose

If you want to name your artisanal gin after King Henry VIII’s prestigious warship the Mary Rose, as the HMS Spirit Company has, you best adorn it with a label to match.

What was produced?

The back label of the Mary Rose Gin, produced in a limited batch of 4,000, depicts a map of the world and a silver compass on the adhesive side, visible through the transparent bottle. The outer side sports the legal and botanical information, and tax stamp.

What did the job entail?

Bradford-based The Label Makers produced the back label out of two materials. A Fasson clear-on-clear polypropylene PET 30 material was reverse-printed multiple shades of blue and black using a six-colour Durst Tau 330, then repassed to print a white background. A compass shape spanning the design was left unprinted.

A Fasson white polypropylene opaque material with a bright silver reverse on the adhesive side was then passed through the Durst to print the botanical background.

The backing of the opaque material was removed, and the two substrates were laminated together using an AB Graphic Digicon 2 finishing line. By laminating the opaque material onto clear-on-clear, the compass shape appeared to have the effect of silver foil blocking.

What challenges were overcome?

“The challenge was to create something of this complexity – we were not aware of anyone doing that before,” said The Label Makers sales director Kevin Lyons. “Everything had to be very precise.

“The biggest challenge was making sure the registration of the white was spot-on and the compass points came out exactly as they should. It was nice to be able to prove that fiddly tasks can actually be quite straightforward.”

What was the feedback?

The Mary Rose job led to The Label Makers winning similar jobs from clients and further work with HMS Spirits. “We will be using this process across all of our gin brands,” said HMS director Ben Maguire. 

“What will change is the introduction of a translucent label at the front to really show off the design on the back. We are working very closely with The Label Makers to develop that and obviously continue to develop our very good working relationship.”


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